Full Disclosure: I have Aaron Dobson on my fantasy team. Get ready for a fair dash of homerism.
And for more disclosure: I'm always right. [editor's note: that's not true.]
I didn't like the Dobson pick. I thought he underproduced in an offense were he should have been the centerpiece.
I immediately wrote about how Dobson shouldn't be expected to replace Brandon Lloyd, as everyone kind of expected. I said an average season by a first/second rounder would yield "30-35 receptions for 400-450 yards and 2-3 touchdowns." So for an end-of-the-second-round receiver to post those numbers? That would be a pretty good year.
So when Dobson missed the first week with an injured, followed it with a stinker of an opening day with three drops, and continued on as one of the least reliable receivers in the league over the first half of the year? I had to hold myself back from saying, "I told you so." [editor's note: that's a lie. You wrote about how much you supported him after the third week of the season.]
Dobson finished the year with 38 receptions, 519 yards, and 4 touchdowns, exceeding the benchmark I laid out. His season would rank in the "above average" category, as far as rookie wide out seasons are concerned, and he even earned the title of "best rookie wide receiver in the Belichick era." Of course, the bar wasn't set too high, but Dobson did everything he could to establish himself as a threat.
With Dobson, we need to look at more than just the raw numbers. He was a willing blocker, even if he wasn't great at it, and was called upon to block 38.4% of his snaps. The rest of his snaps were as a receiver, where he was the second most productive rookie, with regards to yards-per-route.
Add in his injuries, and Dobson was only on the field for 61% of the offense's snaps over the season. Project him over a 100% season and he racks up 62 receptions, 851 yards, and 7 touchdowns. Hell, give him Julian Edelman's percentage (86.2% of snaps) and Dobson still posts 54 receptions, 733 yards, and 6 touchdowns.
Go back to my "Expectation" article. That's top 25% production. That's an elite rookie wide receiver. Sure, that's no A.J. Green (90% of snaps, 70/1104/7) or Julio Jones (78%, 61/1023/8), but why not Calvin Johnson (48/756/4)? Don't think anyone would argue if Dobson became Megatron, right? [editor's note: You're not serious, are you? Marima needs to come back because you've lost it.]
If Dobson can stay healthy, he's a 1000 yard receiver in waiting. Like, 70/1000/10 kind of production. Combine him with whoever the heck sticks around in the slot (Julian? Danny Amendola? Austin Collie?!) and whoever is healthy at tight end (Rob Gronkowski? Please? Just one year with him?) and that's a trio of players who can push double digit touchdowns, triple digit receptions, and quadruple digit yards.
Climb aboard, everyone. Dobson's a stud in the tall grass. He's going to come out next season and shock the world. He may not be the centerpiece of the offense, but he won't have to be. It's time for Dobson to break out and break through.